A Story by Anonymous

I can't remember what it feels like to be a child.


            I can’t remember what it feels like to be a child. I don’t remember when I stopped feeling like a child. I don’t remember why or how. Maybe it was because I knew I was different and began to isolate myself from everyone. Maybe it was because I would scream at the top of my lungs that I wasn’t just seeing things. They were really there, and they would play with me. My friends didn’t hurt me or tell me to do bad things like my parents were worried about. They never made me feel strange. They never made me feel like I was an outcast from the other kids. I felt normal. I was happy. My friends never left my side. They painted my world with colors that only I could see.


            The colors are gone now. Every night is gray and filled with heavy eyelids and empty words being written on pieces of scratch paper. I buy rusted toys from many years ago to relate them to my own self; colorless, dull, and quiet. I let this despair flow out of me like cigarette smoke being inhaled and coughed back up. The pleasure of this pain has disappeared and been replaced with a cold numbness- a numbness that only comes in the dead of the night to cease every joy of the day and shove it into captivity, never to be seen again. I laugh when I think of how I continue to write when nobody cares to read the useless words on the screen. The laughter is empty.


            Everything seems in vain. I write to please nobody, for no living being reads it. I draw to show nobody, for no person admires it. I sing to the emptiness, for there is nobody to hear it. I speak to the walls, for no human will listen. The numbness grows colder inside of me as I feel the ball of ice in my stomach. Someday, I will be alone. Someday, I will regret never telling someone about this despair inside of me. Someday, nobody will remember me.


            The room is black around me and the only sound is the pencil moving and my own sick breath gasping for oxygen through the smoke of cigarettes in my lungs. Black rings hang under my eyes and smudge my vision. Sweat hangs from my forehead in a mess of hair that I wish to shave entirely off of my head. I press my palms to my eyes. The butterfly drawn on my wrist is the only other being in the room besides me. The black marker has been smeared and rubbed over the days. Oily skin and greasy hair make my stomach churn. The feeling of sickness rises in my throat like bile. I want to throw up everything from the past few months that have built up inside me. I want to replace the pointless things of my life with empty gray blocks, so at least the illusion that I have no gaps in my being is there to give me a false comfort.


            My head pounds as I lay in my bed, the blankets and pillows lying on the floor from hours of silent tossing and turning in the dead of night. I had been replaying things that had been said to me in my head over and over, both good things and bad things. I liked to remember the feeling of grief from the past as well as the joy. At least they took away the numbness for a while. Although, they weren’t as effective as they were long ago. I had become a shell with no moral. Any other human’s despair just grazed the armor of mine, not doing any damage or getting past my outer mind. Nothing mattered anymore.


            I had been told that I had pianist’s fingers, with their long clean nails and limber joints. What I saw was disgusting fingers on hands that only created trash. I chewed off the nail down to the very end after a long time of fearing short nails. I had wondered what it would be like if I had lost my hands. I would have no reason to live anymore. Nothing that I had devoted myself to would be doable anymore. I had never been good. I had only been stupidly persistent. I had never been born with a God-given talent or incredible taste. I had been born with an inferiority complex that overpowered anything else, driving me to go beyond my limits to spend years after years on a useless attempt. I had drawn while knowing that I would only end up with garbage. I had written things while knowing that I was only writing things to make me feel important. My talents have always been a lie.


My fears of anything but perfection overwhelm any other sense. My numbness is the only thing I feel anymore. I will not strive to feel pain, nor will I strive to feel happiness. The fear of being alone is what had been haunting me for all of these years- the thirst for importance, the craving of power. I seek people who will give up power to me and sing for my comfort. Yet, I run from conflict at the thought of any bad outcome on my part.

Perhaps I do remember what it’s like to be a child after all.

© 2011 Anonymous

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I can relate to this character very well. This story made me cry because I can relate to this. Very good job

Posted 8 Years Ago

The narrator feels like a very real person that I will never meet. I don't think I can relate to the emotions in this work very well, as they expose something I am not immediately familiar with. As an exploration of the lack of human confidence, it does quite well.

Posted 8 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on September 4, 2011
Last Updated on September 4, 2011



Andover, MN

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